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Best 5 Solar Companies in San Diego, CA

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Written By Max Peterson | Last Updated: February 05, 2024

San Diego homeowners experience 7,500,000 sunny days each year, making the city a great environment for solar energy. If you live in one of the area's many old homes, you might doubt your electrical system would support solar panels. However, new technology and knowledgeable installers can help these homeowners access eco-friendly, clean power. On this page, we'll highlight San Diego's leading solar contractors and offer valuable advice for your solar journey.

Best High-Efficiency System
4.8
  • Builds custom, high-efficiency solar systems suited to each home
  • Extensive coverage area throughout the country
  • Offers energy storage and EV charger add-ons
Best Solar Panel Leasing
4.4
  • Provides system monitoring
  • Offers diverse financing options for various budgets
  • Provides EV and solar battery solutions
Best Solar Panel Installation
4.4
  • Offers 7 panel brand options
  • 25-year workmanship warranty
  • Offers battery options

Top San Diego Solar Companies

Semper Solaris Logo

Semper Solaris

5/5
Based on 1,051 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Commercial Panels Financing Assistance Residential Panels Consultation Battery Storage Skilled Repairs

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
964 Fifth Ave #510, San Diego, CA 619-432-3441 sempersolaris.com
Enerev Solar Logo

Enerev Solar

4.7/5
Based on 22 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Residential Panels Tesla Powerwall Battery Storage

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
265 E St Suite F, Chula Vista, CA 619-737-3773 enerevsolar.com
SolarQuest Logo

SolarQuest

4.7/5
Based on 24 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Residential Panels Financing Assistance Consultation

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Free quotes
  • Reliable customer support
5173 Waring Rd #118, San Diego, CA 619-292-8062 solarquestpower.com
HES Solar Logo

HES Solar

4.6/5
Based on 230 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Permit Assistance Battery Storage Maintenance Off-Grid Solar Systems Solar Panel Upgrades Financing Assistance Commercial Panels Residential Panels Tesla Powerwall Consultation

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Free quotes
  • Reliable customer support
9085 Aero Dr # A, San Diego, CA 619-692-2015 hessolar.com

More Local Solar Companies

Heliogold Solar

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

401 W A St Ste 200
San Diego, CA 92101

CM Solar Electric

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

9125 Chesapeake Dr
San Diego, CA 92123

Infinity Energy

User Reviews: 4.4/5 

9530 Chesapeake Dr Suite 502
San Diego, CA 92123

Soltech Electric

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

8910 University Center Ln #400
San Diego, CA 92122

LGCY Power

User Reviews: 4.1/5 

4542 Ruffner St Unit 300
San Diego, CA 92111

West Coast Heating, Air Conditioning, and Solar

User Reviews: 5/5 

1256 Fayette St
El Cajon, CA 92020

Action Solar

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

6339 Nancy Ridge Dr #101
San Diego, CA 92121

BVI Solar

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

7867 Dunbrook Rd suite d
San Diego, CA 92126

Sunline Energy

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

7340 Trade St Suite H
San Diego, CA 92121

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.

Ranking Methodology

Our team used the following criteria to assess the best San Diego solar companies.

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Facts about San Diego
Average Max Temp: 72°F
Solar Payback Period: 6.8 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 73%
Homes Powered by Solar: 262,626
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,659
Solar Power per Capita Percentile: 48.0%

Expert Tips By

This Old House empowers homeowners with the knowledge and tools they need to tackle various projects and navigate the complexities of homeownership.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy provides numerous advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Smaller power bills: Generating some or all of your own power will cut power costs long-term.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Solar is a highly abundant clean energy source, meaning you can reduce or eliminate your home's dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Better energy independence: Solar systems with battery storage operate through blackouts and emergencies, and you won't have to rely on the power grid for your safety and well-being.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to San Diego Homeowners?

Governments and power companies often reward homeowners for embracing solar. Here are some of the tax credits, rebates, or other programs you could qualify for.

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Website: boe.ca.gov

Incentive Amount:

100% of system value; 75% of system value exemption for dual-use equipment

Incentive Type: PACE Financing

Website: wrcog.us

Incentive Amount:

Eligible products can be financed for up to 25 years, depending on the useful life of the eligible product.
Minimum financing: $5,000
The financing may not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the market value of the property, up to the first seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) of the property’s market value, and ten percent (10%) of the remaining value of the Property above seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) minus any PACE assessment on the property The total amount of any annual property taxes and assessments shall not exceed five percent (5%) of the property's fair market value, determined at the time program financing is approved.

Incentive Type: PACE Financing

Incentive Amount:

Locally determined

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: selfgenca.com

Incentive Amount:

For projects 30 kW or larger, 50% of incentive will be received up-front; 50% will be received based on actual kWh production over the first 5 years. For projects under 30kW, 100% of the incentive will be paid up front.
Incentives will step down over time. See below for incentive amounts.

Incentive Type: Feed-in Tariff

Website: cpuc.ca.gov

Incentive Type: Feed-in Tariff

Website: ladwp.com

Incentive Amount:

$0.17/kWh adjusted by a time of delivery multiplier
Base price will step down over time as certain MW goals are met

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov

Incentive Amount:

Step 1 Incentive Rates (contact utility to determine current incentive levels):
Single Family Residential Incentives:
Systems that displace natural gas: $29.85 per estimated therm displaced
Systems that displace electricity or propane: Funding has been exhausted
Commercial/Multifamily Incentives:
Systems that displace natural gas: $20.19 per estimated therm displaced
Systems that displace electricity or propane: $0.42 per estimated kWh displaced *** Note, funding has been exhausted in this category for SCE and PG&E
Solar Pool heating: $5.00 per estimated therm displaced

Incentive Type: Green Building Incentive

Website: sandiego.gov

Incentive Type: Green Building Incentive

Website: sandiegocounty.gov

Incentive Amount:

7.5% reduction in plan check and building permit fees

Incentive Type: Personal Tax Credit

Website: ecowatch.com

Incentive Amount:

30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in San Diego

The more informed your company research is, the better your solar system will ultimately work. Make your choice based on the following essential elements.

Licensing and Training

California requires solar companies to hold licenses for each type of equipment they install, which can include solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, water heaters, boilers, HVAC, and pool heaters. Contractors must complete a highly comprehensive educational series, gain four years of field experience, and pass written exams to earn licensure. Check a company's website for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), among the solar industry's most trusted trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.

Cost of Solar Panels in San Diego

Your solar modules' model will affect how much power you can generate. Monocrystalline panels perform the best but cost the most. Polycrystalline panels offer you a budget panel with a traditional design, but at the cost of less power generation. Thin-film panels have a low cost and are excellent for non-traditional roofs, but aren't recommended for large home installations.

You can also add electric car (EV) chargers and battery backup systems. These will increase your total project price, but they can increase your solar system's efficiency. Not every solar company offers these add-ons, so look for a contractor that installs them if it's crucial for you.

A majority of San Diego homeowners select solar systems sized for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems run about $17,350 to set up, considering both parts and installation. You can see more specific cost information in the table.

Solar Panel Cost Average Cost
Solar Monocrystalline $1,226
Solar Polycrystalline $956
Thin-Film $559
Solar Battery $784
Solar Home EV Charger $2,942

Financing Solar Energy in San Diego

Solar installers use multiple different financing options to lower your costs and increase your savings. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are solar loans, cash payments, solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Though it requires a large up-front payment, cash is the most affordable choice because it qualifies you for solar incentives and doesn't accrue interest. Solar loans are the second most effective option. As with a car or home loan, you'll pay a monthly rate towards system ownership, including interest. You can still apply for valuable solar incentives, and depending on your lender, you could put as little as $0 down. Solar leases allow you to use your panels for a set monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay just for the energy you use, similar to an electric bill. Both options disqualify you for solar incentives and don't grant you system ownership. Solar experts generally don't recommend them, but they might be suitable in some cases. We recommend working with a provider that offers multiple financing options. Talk to each representative about what's available, and obtain more than one estimate for the best odds of staying within your spending limits.

The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in San Diego.

The IRS allows you to claim a 26% federal tax credit on the full cost of the solar system, so long as you purchase it before 2032. City and state governments and utilities might also offer their own rebates, incentives, and financing programs that could save you more money.

Solar System Capacity Estimated Payback period
1 kW 1.4 years
2 kW 2.7 years
5 kW 6.8 years
10 kW 13.7 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in San Diego

How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?

On average, San Diego homeowners shell out roughly $1,659 per year on power bills. Once you repay your solar array, you could save $1,637.07 for every kilowatt you produce.

How popular is solar energy in San Diego?

Yes, solar energy is gaining popularity in San Diego. Some homes already use solar power on-site or through utility grids, and they're backed by a state solar economy with 74255 jobs and counting.

Should I anticipate a boost in my property value after switching to solar energy?

Yes, solar panels will raise your property value. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), for every dollar you reduce on energy bills, your home value rises by $20. So, if your panels save you $600 per year on energy costs, your property could appreciate $12,000.

What if I live in a dark or rainy

Even if your property has high tree cover, you could still use solar energy. Your technician will maximize your system's performance by selecting the proper site for panels, installing a battery backup system, positioning them to capture the most sunlight throughout the year, and cleaning them regularly. This way, you can store solar power and use it as necessary.

What can I do to predict my home's solar viability?

One common way to find your home's solar viability is by using PVWatts. This free, powerful tool considers local weather and topography, tree cover, panel efficiency, and system size to determine how much energy your array could generate. However, it's not a substitute for consulting with a local solar installation company, who can create a full estimate with the most updated data.

How long does the solar panel installation process take?

Your solar job's duration will depend on its size and complexity, as well as San Diego's permit and inspection procedures. It could take a couple of weeks to a few months on average.

What's the difference between a PPA and a solar lease?

After you sign a PPA, your solar contractor will not charge to install or maintain your new panel array. Instead, you'll pay them only for the electricity you generate. Typically, PPAs last for 10–25 years or until you "buy out" of the contract.

If you choose a lease, you'll make fixed monthly payments.

With both leases and PPAs, you do not own your panels and lose eligibility for most incentives. Further, you'll have to "buy out" or transfer the contract if you sell your home during the term.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.

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